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My grandmother used to say there’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. She was trying to urge caution on a 10-year-old girl with an unfortunate habit of knocking her glass of milk all over the dinner table. Well, you probably can be trusted not to spill the beverages. But the old aphorism is still good advice to 21st-century lawyers. It’s all simple, easy, straightforward stuff until . . . Until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tosses your case for lack of jurisdiction. That’s already happened to three sets of distinguished counsel this year. Barry Goldsmith reminds attorneys to cross their t’s and dot their i’s in the District Court, unless they enjoy explaining to the client why the appeals court kicked the case. Or perhaps you’re the general counsel and you’ve signed off on the outsourcing of a major software development project to a company in India. All is good until you learn that the foreign company has been using your company’s intellectual property to improve your competitor’s software. Bruce Metge, a former GC himself now back in private practice, discusses how not to become that guy. Or maybe the problem isn’t your IP at all. It’s your vendor’s proprietary manufacturing process — a vendor that you were relying on to provide a key component for your new blockbuster product, a vendor that has just shut its doors. Frank Bruno explains how you can preserve access to information about that critical process. Sometimes it’s not the Schadenfreude in watching another lawyer stumble, but the “wisdom” issuing from certain-to-be-somebody’s clients that makes our day. Janet Fries offers up a top 10 list of copyright fables that otherwise intelligent people seem to believe. Like the “It can’t be infringement because the original creator is dead, and, besides, I only took a little bit, plus it’s not like I made any real money off it, and anyway, they can afford it” exception under the Copyright Act. Yeah, tell it to the administrators of Elvis Presley’s estate or Andy Warhol’s. Just don’t tell them Janet sent you. — Elizabeth Engdahl Managing Editor

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